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Episode 73 - Consult with Hest

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This week for the podcast. I have the founder and CEO of a pretty interesting Shopify store called Hest and their CEO is Aaron.

And, Aaron, why don't you tell us a little bit about your store, how you got started, how long around and where your current business, you know, momentum is at?

Yeah. thanks for having me, Scott, great to meet you and great to have this opportunity. Yeah. Hest was born out of a pain point of mine and that the type of camping I was doing, I was driving to my campsite and sleeping terribly. And I'd my career in product design and development in action, sports and outdoor designing skis and snowboards and lots of different outdoor products and just naturally started prototyping and researching what could offer a better night's sleep in the outdoors and landed on our sleep system that we launched back 2019 on a Shopify store. It really offers the benefits and experience of an out your home mattress and is portable enough to take to an outdoor setting and design for that. So we talked to a few people at the time of launching the product. It was a bit of an MVP product idea, and that we built 75 of 'em just to see what customers would do and how they'd react and got some great reviews and kind of been off to the races since then, and trying to keep up with customer orders.

That's a good problem to having with a store it's only three years old. If you're trying to keep up with demand, it sounds like you took your into street built expertise in, in product and said, well, I'm gonna build my own business using my expertise, which, and solve my own pain point. No problem, which is, you know, that's the entrepreneur's dream. If you can just break out of that corporate, you know, stranglehold and, and build your own business, does it feel that way for you? Or am I, am I making it too romantic sounding?

Oh it's that romantic and it's that challenging all at, at once. Again, having spent my career in product design and development the, the romantic and the opportunity of having your own site and interacting directly with your customer is really learning as quickly and as intimately with our customers as possible, that really, to me, most excitingly informs new product design and development. And having spent time with kind of larger companies for many years you would design a product and it would be a year later that it's on the shop floor. And you're getting kind of marginal feedback from a shop employee on how the customer liked your product versus it's been wonderful with, on Shopify and being able to get that immediate feedback that is informing our future and development.

Yeah. And total aside, I like your branding here. Your logo is so simple and elegant. It's just, it, it screams professional to me, you know, the mattress with the, the outdoor back, you know, foreground on it kind of thing. How did you get a four letter to domain in 2019?

<Laugh> came up with a word that doesn't really mean anything. That's a good, good start. Hestia is what we're named after, which is the Greek goddess of home and hearth and just looking for kind of a shortened version of that and landed on Hest did a couple Google searches saw that it wasn't being used and felt like that was something we could really put some moment energy into

That. That's awesome. I, I love the fact that it actually has a Greek goddess, meaning that that's kind of, I love those back stories, right? Those are the kind of back stories that, that people repeat, right. If, if Hest didn't stand for anything, no one would ever repeat it. But if people hear that back, they're like, oh, it's the Greek goddess of home and health or, or whatever you said. I forgot the term. People, people love stories. And if you give them something to repeat about your brand, then they will repeat that. Do you actually talk about that in your, our story that it's the the goddess of,

Oh, I don't know if it comes up <laugh> in their, it kind of pops up in different brand conversations.

Yeah. I, I would just, I would recommend adding it to your story somewhere. Like, like I said, if you give people something to repeat, I, I finally end up repeating it and, you know, I wanna shift gears rather quickly here into, you know, you know, looking at your website and just giving you feedback. The first thing I noticed when I looked at your website the other day for the first time, I'd never seen it before was how much amazing content you have created for your store. And especially now that I know you're only three years old or going into your third year, you have so many product shoots like your homepage image year, right? This is actually your product. It's not Photoshop to in, I'm gonna guess this is actually your truck and your, you know, your outdoors in an environment. And you do that over and over again with photography. And with video here, here's a video and you put together several videos and I see lots of photography and your blog and stuff like that. I was amazed at how much content you created for your, your, your brand already. And is that something that you had thought you were gonna do in the beginning, or, or how did you find that core competency to do that? Do you do in-house or do you outsource that?

Yeah, I think it's having spent my career in the outdoor industry and action sports. I mean, it's just kind of naturally what myself and the, the team I brought on the and I think very simply, and thankfully the product we use just lends itself to be in settings that are very aspirational and exciting for people to shoot and get excited as photographers and videographers that they wanna shoot our product. So, and yeah, it's, it's a mix. I mean, we have lots of friends who are amazing creators in these spaces that have helped us along the way and building up the brand. And it's just wonderful to work with those friends. And then, yeah, we, you get messages pretty much daily these days with people that are out there doing this lifestyle, living van life, or living and enjoying these things in the outdoors and have great cameras and excited to kinda share their, their content with us. So it's, it's wonderful when you're selling an aspir that is at home in the outdoors because people love to, to shoot that sort of stuff.

Yeah. That, that totally makes sense where you have no problem with influencers wanting to participate or, you know, just the, the social media mavens, wanting to participate in your content creation, which, you know, once again, great problem to have, you know, you're a diaper company, it wouldn't be as easy for you kind of thing. <Laugh> exactly. So one of the things I noticed on your website and, you know, we, we should always optimize our websites for the mobile phone, and I look at it on desktop and that's what I'm sharing it with you on right now, just cause it's easier to see and talk about things. And on desktop, you know, this, this homepage image is a great example where the image is larger than my screen, right? And there's multiple places. It's just feedback for you. There's multiple places like, like this, these images here, we're going full width on this screen.

And in the turbo theme that you're using, you can choose not to have it be so large, but right now, if I wanna look at all four products, it takes more than the screen to do that. And what's one, one of the nice things here in the turbo theme. If I go to the mobile view, you're still using the same exact image where you could crop this differently on the mobile phone and have it, you know, be a, a portrait image instead of a landscape. So you could, you could optimize your imagery for mobile and desktop and have separate images or separate crop of the images. And I, I wouldn't be so aggressive in being full screen with on desktop because it ends up that, you know, what I'm looking at takes more than the screen. And I gotta scroll. And I like, it was a video I was watching somewhere on your site. It was full screen. And I couldn't see the whole video at one time. Like I'm scrolling up and down, like trying to get it to fit. And just a little bit of annoying. Now that's not the biggest problem in the world. It's, it's a fine tuning point for you there.

Yep. That's great suggestion.

When I build a store, you know, I, I think of a store as a decision making engine. Most stores, what they do is they list their products and what they don't do a good job of is help customers make decisions in their product, catalog the store. That's the worst of that in the world is Amazon. Amazon's an absolutely horrific shopping experience. Nobody goes to Amazon because they help us make decisions. But what Amazon does, it gives you lots and lots of information. They have great shipping and they have every product in the world, which is why people shop there. And, and the point I'm leading up to there is, is this is on your homepage. This is a great example where you show me your four products, but you're not helping me decide which one's best for me. I'm also not a fan of this hover effects stuff on, on desktop.

I, in this theme, you, you can actually have this text be underneath it. I prefer that because then I can see this one liner on each one of these without having to hover over each one separately and that kind of stuff. But what's missing here. And especially on your shop page, for example, is just a little explanation of people. So you basically have three mattresses and a pillow, the, the other branded accessories, I'm not even gonna talk about. Those are nice brand building exercises, but your main product line is your three mattresses and your pillow. And I'm gonna assume that the most important decision for someone to make when they're shopping is which of the three mattresses is the best for them on this page here. Right? I might have a shop mattresses, right. Instead of, instead of having them at the top level, in the nap, pick a sleep system, a foamy and a dualie, which are your three different mattresses.

I might have a shop mattresses, right. And I would actually make that a top level nap like mattresses instead of having to hover over and then, and then click on it. But on that mattresses page, you know, I, I call this, you know, a a decision making page or a buyer's guide. I would have, you know, I would have your, your page say, all right, we got three choices for you here. We got the foamy, we got the dually and we got the, the sleep system. And here's the pros and cons of each, right? If your two people in the back of a truck, you want the dually, cause it's double wide, right? If you want more comfort, and if I get, you know, the, your product's wrong, you can let me know, but you want, if you want more comfort, it's the Hest sleep sleep system.

If you want, you know, something simple and portable, it's the foamy explaining at this level here, what your three options are for mattresses and then letting the customers make the choice of which one they want instead of having to go into each the product pages and try to figure out what the differences are on this page here. And this is where a lot of stores get it wrong. You don't wanna highlight the awesomeness and all the awesome features of these three mattresses. You wanna highlight the differences of the three mattresses, right? So if they're all made with memory foam, for example, you don't talk about that. Right? Cause that's not a difference because if you talk about all the pros of each of these, there'd be a lot of redundant information between them. So what you're trying to do is call out differences between them so that people can make a decision like, oh, the Dooley's the only one that's, you know, for a couple.

So I'm, I know I don't have to choose between the Hest sleep system or the foamy, cuz I need, you know, the back of my truck fill with a mattress kinda thing. So making that a decision making engine for customers, and then once you start doing it that way you are more confident when somebody gets onto a product page that this is the right product for them. Because they've already been educated about the products at the level above. So now you're just selling them on this product, which you're doing a really good job of here. Does that

Make yeah, you're we are in the middle of update especially as we move to 2.0 and you're pre what we we're already doing. So that's awesome. Including the including the navigation you mentioned and kinda a landing page that talks to differentiation.

Do most people buy a pillow at the same time they're buying a mattress?

Just depends. I mean, there are people that are just coming for a, and then there are people that use it as an add-on. Yep.

You know, cause at the top level NAD, you get a mattresses pillow and they can make that choice there. But then, you know, when you're, you know, on a, a page here for, you know, the, the mattress, you could have product options for pillow, no one or two for the Julie, so that you can be upselling, you know, basically you're bundling in this case here, but you can do that right inside of Shopify's product options. There becomes an issue there with inventory management, depending if you're using SKUs and managing inventory. And if that's done in Shopify or not. But one thing to think about is do you upsell the pillow right here on this page? Or the other one to do is if they add it to the cart, if they add this to the cart, you could ask them right. Then do they want to add a pillow to their order?

Right. And, and let me show you what that looks like. Let me go to a Bigby chocolate. And on this one here, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go to a gift chocolate and I'm gonna pick their Puffin just cause it's a cute little chocolate item. And so I've already said this as a gift, right? I've selected the gift category. And when I get to this page and I see the chocolate Puffin and I add it to the cart, there's a mole that pops up that says, Hey, do you wanna add a gift card to your puffing gift? If they say, please, we're gonna go to a collection of gift cards. And if they say, no, we're gonna take 'em to the cart. So they say, yes, please. And then this is where your pillow could be. I mean, you could take 'em straight to the product page to the pillow.

So if someone adds a mattress to the cart, you know, if you don't bundle the mattress on page, which you could do with a product, you know, with a bundle app or with product variance, depending on how you're managing inventory, then right here, when they add it to the cart, I would have a natural, I call this a linear shopping experience where most try to do things in parallel, but sometimes you should do them a step at a time and make them linear. I would have a little ups says, Hey, do you wanna add a pillow to your mattress or two pillows if you're getting the Dooly kind of thing and then let them go to that pillow age to understand more about the pillow and all the value props behind it.

And is that an add on, or is that in the theme?

That is an add on, and I've done it in custom code and I, I'm not here to sell you on my apps, but what I just showed you with B speed that's, that's a free app that I have in the app store. That's doing that functionality. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> which one of your mattresses is the best selling

Sleep system

Sleep system. Okay. And I love the fact that you've got this little infographic here. I, I think your, your product page has lots of good content. I'm not a fan of share buttons that said if they get used in your business or on your store, that's great. But in my experience, no one ever clicks on these things in most stores. And here's an example of your video being too large especially cuz our, our nav bar doesn't go away, it's too large. And then these become really large also. And I would just, you know, have the width of that page, be confined to this 1200 pixel width that's going on in, in the top part of your product page. And that means, you know, whatever size monitor you put it on, you know, it's always gonna stay within the 1200. Cause I, I literally right now in front of me, you have a 27 inch monitor and two fiftys on my sides. And if I move this over to the 50, it would just be ridiculous what that would look like, because it would be full width on that 50 inch monitor.

It might be helpful and interesting for you now to look at the foamy that embodies our new format.

Oh nice. I, I love this right here. I didn't see this before. I love these. I call them product seals. You don't even need to have the pluses in there to be honest with you. Cuz this makes me think like it's an equation and I'm asking myself, what is that equal? But I love the fact that you have this a hundred day guarantee up in the, the top bar, but you're also supporting that down here. And you could even go to the next level on that and have a model that pops up if they click on it. That gives them a little more inform about it. Like no questions asked easy returns and return policies are super important as I'm sure you know, which is why you're doing that. So really doubling down on that information. What I like to do on a product page is answer any question the customer's gonna have about that product on that product page.

And what I mean, that is, I wouldn't say, Hey, we have a hundred hundred night money back guarantee and if they click on it, I would not take them to the hundred gate guarantee page. I would leave them on the page they're on and answer that question there for them, you know, same thing, whatever your shipping policy. So well, a lot of things that I do on my client's stores is I use accordions a lot to add lots of content in and I will actually put in an accordion, the return policy and the shipping policy. So if they click on it, it'll expand and they can see it without having to go to another page for that kinda stuff. But I, I like this layout a lot. I can see where you guys are, are evolving it. And then here we go, you've got the, you're going that standard width on this product page and not going that full width. And I love the, the stacking of these photos like this, just the lifestyle and, and setting the tone for things and how graphically you are. Infographics are absolutely fabulous. And you're doing those, oh, this is beautiful.


You know, to, to totally nitpick. I just wouldn't put a box, a, a line box around this. You put a little more white space in here, the same white space you have, you got rid of this line box, the content would show more and you wouldn't be, I'm distracted right now by looking at those lines. But that's a, that's a total knit and here you're doing the Hest pillow, you know, in the same page where, you know, you might want to think about doing that as a product option here or, you know, the linear shopping experience type thing. Also either, either one of those is fine. As I read through your Yapo reviews, you know, I love the comments that you had. I noticed in your homepage, you used industry comments, which are fabulous. There's nothing wrong with that at all. You might also wanna think about, oh, here you go. There, there's one of your industry ones. You can also do the same thing with your client reviews also. And some people you can put that even higher up, you know, the review, they'll put it up here, right above the product form too. This page is much better than the other one. We're just looking at. I, I, I love what I'm seeing

Here. Yeah. And I, I think as, as I mentioned, but this is, this is a new product we just launched in December. So we launched it on a new format that we've been developing. And we're in the process of converting both navigation and format of over to this.

One of the things about this, that to me, makes it look so professional, right? People come to a store and they may not be able to verbalize it, but they definitely notice it when things are more professional, like having authentic photography versus stock photography, they notice those kind of things. And also what's really nice here is all of your graphic that you're making, whether they're the icons or the infographics mapped to your color scheme. So there's a consistency behind those. You know, I'm sure you've been to the websites where they've got, you know, three different product deals up here and they just look like they were grabbed from three different random websites that are completely unrelated and they don't go well together. Your stuff is all going together. It's consistent. It maps to your theme. It just makes it way more elegant. Cool. Now something else I noticed, cuz you know, when I first heard about your website, someone said to me, Hey search for a Hest camp mattress.

Cause they didn't know the, the, to manager your website when they should have known it being only four left. But I wanna show you what happened when I did that. So here's an ad. So you're paying for this link right here. And by the way, very interestingly, you're not showing up in SEO yet for, for that term, which is very surprising to me, but that that's a separate problem. So, and you know, to overcome that problem, you're, you're doing a paid ad, which makes total sense. So it's gonna take me to your landing page here. And I just wanted to point out and on this page, you're actually not selling enough these here, right? These are shopping links. I know that, but they don't say shop now. They don't say bye. Now when I hover over and I told you before, I don't like this hover effect, but that's just a personal thing.

But here, right. I would be much more overt, you know, and you're doing a great job in setting the tone. That's absolutely the right thing to do. Right? You're taking somebody who's just searching for, for Hest camp mattresses. We it's probably someone in a purchase or a shopping experience and you're explaining the value props to them. But there's not enough shopping promotion here, like by now. So you could have, you know, these links here say shop now and at the bottom of the page, also another, you know, shop now or, or, you know, go to our buyers guy, get more information there's is not enough call to action. Considering how much content is invested on this page.

Yeah. This is a brand new landing page that we just launched. And that's definitely fair feedback. That would be good to

Incorporate. Well, and on this one here, you know, you, you guys have already seen the same thing I'm talking about where you you're going to not be full with in your banners, cause I'm sure you guys have figured out, you know, what I do for a lot of my stores is I make the banners full with, but I only make them 5, 6, 800 pixels tall. The challenge with that is most photographers do not shoot a photo that can be cropped to that aspect ratios. It ends up looking like crap. And that's why you guys are keeping your aspect ratios a little more rectangular than really, really landscape. So, you know, going to that, not full width is a good decision probably on your team's part there. And then, you know, similar to not shopping enough, I looked at, so this is a blog article of yours. Are you getting a lot of your traffic through SEO today and, and are your blogs driving that traffic for you?


You know, and the reason I bring that up, like if, if you've got a bunch of blog articles and they're not driving traffic, it's, it's not worth your time and energy to worry about it. But if they're driving traffic to you, right, this here should also turn into a shopping page blogs in my world, right? The way I think about it, the blog only exists for one reason. And that is to draw customers to your store, right? I don't believe in blogs as a way to engage customers on your store. It's only to bring traffic to your store. And, and I bring that up because if that was true, then, you know, I, I argue my clients all the time on this one. I don't believe in putting blogs on your homepage or promoting them. Right. If they're only for traffic acquisition, then don't try to reuse them.

But that said, you may want to use them for engagement. Also. There's nothing wrong with that. If that's, you know, the decision you're making, but here we are on this, this article that talks about memory foam, camping mattresses. So basically, you know, you're, you're going through the pros and cons, which is all great content. But once again, and there are links on this page, I saw them somewhere that takes me to the mattress, but there's no button, right? There's no shop now. There's no buy now button. If I've gotta like scroll through and try to find where the link is, that takes me to it. And this one here takes me to another blog article, right? So on this page, you know, which is, there might be some content in your blog. Like I saw ones like how to trick out your, you know, your truck for camping overnight.

Maybe you don't have a buy now link on that page. But on this page where you're talking about your mattresses, you definitely have buy now links. And you could just do that in HTML. You can have a little HTML, you know, take your add to cart button or your buy buttons or any, any of the links you have from your turbo theme, just have a little HTML for it. So it's graphical. A lot of people are skimers and a lot of people are on the phone and you want a really bright, very obvious. This is our buy now button functionality to take you there, which you know, it's not happening on this page right now. Cool. Where is your most of your traffic coming from today? Is it through advertising and social? Is it through organic? Is it through email and then, you know, where are you taking them to in the, in the landing for that?

It's definitely a blend across all those you just mentioned. And I think as you discovered, trying to get people to that landing page is kind of a first touch point has been what we've been evolving to as well as the homepage, just naturally being a landing page.

Yeah, I actually, I'm, I'm a big believer in that you should never, ever, ever send a customer to your homepage, which is really hard to do an execution, cuz it takes a lot of work. But like the fact that you have the landing page that you do, that's a great first step. And then what ends up happening over time, you'll end up over time having multiple landing pages. So, you know, I could totally see you in the future having landing pages for camping or for van life or for, you know, whatever use other use cases you have or you know, desert versus Alpine and, and those types of scenarios having that, you know, the content you've created then for your landing pages, all you do is you just say, all right, here's my target audience. Here's what I know about them. Like you may have different ads for men and women.

You may have different ads for camping versus adventure and those kind of things. You'll end up building out landing pages to take what you know about that customer, take the content you got all around the table and say, right, this customer has this types of stuff and, and put up those value props for them on your new theme designer. You gonna stay in when you go to online store 2.0, are you staying in the turbo theme? Yes. Yeah. So turbo allows you and along online store at 2.0, especially allows you to add content in and out much more easily than you. You can even in turbo today, right? You have a page dot details template in your turbo today, which gives you lots of rich control. It's gonna be more so when you get to the online store 2.0, so you get to reuse that content that you create a lot more easily than you do today, which will be a lot of fun for you when you, when you deploy that. Yeah. And on your, on your social traffic, are you doing that from your own social networks or influencers, driving traffic to your store?

We're exploring the potential on the, the influencer angle. I would say we're, we're open to advice or thoughts of what would be the best way to drive that. Cause we're, we're kind of testing lots of different methods.

I have found that that most people, people are the most successful in social are the ones that create great content. And usually they're creating their own great content and people are interested in that concept. I have one example of a podcast I did about a year ago with a, a client called grip clean. And all they do is sell hand soap and it it's high quality hand soap for like automechanics. So it's not sexy at all. And the amazing thing is they, they do really good to TikTok videos about how to clean your hands, right. And they're funny and they, they do 'em all in house and they, they sold all their inventory last year because of their TikTok traffic, which, you know, you wouldn't expect TikTok audience, being people that cared about, you know, cleaning their hands of oil and grease. But if you create great content, then people will come and I've also found, you know, the influencer world, you know, there can be success stories.

Absolutely. But it's really hard. Right. And there, you know, there's a bunch of influencers out there who are super talented and really good at what they're doing. But those seem to be more in the beauty and fashion area where they're adding value because they're creating content of how to apply the makeup or how do you use these nails kind of things. So they're creating content that you're not creating yourself, I guess the Uber point of what I'm saying now that I think it through is it's all about the content. Whether you create it or they create it, it's the content that's gonna drive that most importantly. Sure. And on your videos, are you creating those in-house you had talked about, you know, friends helping out, so are you doing videos today?

It's a mix, but certainly the <laugh> yeah, a lot of the video that we use is created by a person that does that for their job. I mean, that's their profession. And so we're doing it outta house a lot of the time for the, the final edits and so on.

But do you guys set up the camera and, and do the raw shoot yourself and get the lighting? Also, it's a mix,

You know, I mean we're shooting reels in the warehouse right now. And that's just the warehouse workers shooting it and doing that. It is also, we have guys that do amazingly professional videography that do they shoot the motion and they do the editing and the full package. So that's really a blend.

Yeah. Cause I, I find that videos super, super valuable most companies today still aren't shooting video and enough. And you know, one of the things I have always said is you can't have too many videos. I I've built product pages with 6, 7, 8 videos on them. And it's, it's not too much at all now, you know, I'm not saying you need seven or eight videos, but you could have, you know, video testimonials, you could have professionals talking about your products, how to set it up durability, talk about our shipping, how we, you know, have a hundred day guarantee, all that kind of stuff can be videos. And then one of the nice things with video is as you create videos, you could also convert the, the voice to text and there's software that does that automatically these days. And then you drop that transcript on your page or on a, you know, a blog or something. You make a, you make a video page or a blog page for every video you have add that transcript to it. And then all that concept you created now is an SEO benefit behind it also mm-hmm <affirmative> so, you know, it's just another way to, to leverage the content that you have, but video is super important and not enough people are shooting it and you, so you're a step ahead of them. I would just, you know, double down on that for your traffic acquisition, how much video can you create to, to bring people in?

Yeah, I think, I mean, one very simplistic way of thinking of how I approach our website is it really needs to replace a shop employee. And it's tr in the traditional sense of you go into an REI or you go into an Nordstroms and you talk to somebody and they make recommendations and they engage with you. That's really our goal with our website is to offer that. And I think video as a medium is a very approachable in intimate way for somebody to build co in the product and better awareness of what they're looking at.

And I, I totally agree with you replacing the shop employee, right? And that's, you know, when I was talking before about a lot of stores, just show their products and just list in their product catalog. They don't ask the question, like, why are you here today? Oh, you're here for, you know, you know mattress, well, are you looking for a one for your truck or your tent or your kayaking, you know, all that kind of stuff. They don't go through that consultative approach to shopping. And that's what I mean about making your, your collection pages in a, a decision making engine kinda thing. Sure. One of the things that you know, you're doing here, I talk about quality. Like I, I loved your logo and how you can consistency in your elements and colors and all that good thing. And you do tell your story, cause the reason I'm bringing this up right now, you reminded me of this is I think that people buy from small Shopify stores because they don't wanna buy from Amazon or Walmart.

And they wanna buy from a human being. They don't wanna buy from a brand, although, you know, has, is a brand that will become even more of a brand, but they want that human story. If I look at your, I'm gonna call this a branding video here, when I look at it, what's missing a little bit, you've got some of it, right. You just missing a little bit of it. Is that more personal thing where somebody gets on there and looks right at you and says, Hey, I'm Bob or Hey, I'm Aaron. And you know, I started Hest because yada, yada, yada, and building that little bit of rapport and you guys, you know, it, it appears to me, you have serious outdoor street cred. You're up in the Seattle area. The Pacific north is, is an outdoor, you know, Mecca. I see, you've got, you know, I, I saw one photo of your, of your garage.

I assumed it was with mountain bikes and skis and skateboards and all that stuff lined up in it. I would double down on that a little bit. Right. And make it a little more obvious. You, you do plenty of it. I'm not saying you jumped at all right. You're showing your employees and your staff a lot, which is great. I, I would be even a little more conscious of that and, and let people know that, you know, we, we, we, you know, our dream started here right on the mission for a better night's sleep. And just double down on the fact that a you're an American company, which I think is super important, cuz your audience is probably mostly American. This, you know, where are your products made? I we do final assembly in Seattle. I would say that, right. I would make it a product seal on your product page.

And I bet you, you know, that also means you're, you're sourcing from other parts of the world, but I bet you, you're also looking at the quality of those products, what chemicals are in them and making sure that it's not toxic in all that, you know, you might wanna double will doubt on that a little bit, leverage the fact that in the United States cuz your selling to Americans, there's a whole patriotic side of things, which I don't want get caught up in cuz it gets political really quick, but there's this other side of being made in America or produced in America or designed in Amer I think even apple says designed in, in America, even though they're all made in China because you know, you are following American laws for safety and health and all that good stuff. So just double down on it's ER, if you know, American made American designed, whatever, cause there's a quality level from that, just embrace that kinda stuff and you know, be overt with it, you know, have a little tried and tested and in the Pacific Northwest or something.

Right. All, all that good, good fun stuff. But I, I love the story and all the different things you're doing. It just, you know, once you have so much message to get out there, it's hard to, you know, do it all and you just, you just keep doing it and you just keep refining it as you build it out. And you might want to think about having more than one of about page in some of the stores I build, we end up with up to three different about pages. The first about page is your story, right? Your background had this all get started. You know, what's the vision, what's the mission, you know, all that good stuff. Your second about page could be the team. So you show all of your team members, right? You show a nice photo of them. Maybe what I always tell people is when I see the teen page, I wanna see babies and dogs because you're trying to make that human connection.

And I, I notice you already do that, like in a couple of your photos, you show the, the dog in the background and that kind stuff. And that's just being more human or, you know, you show that, Hey, I'm a family guy and here's my kids and people, people care about that. Right? It makes you more human and more approachable kind of thing. And then the third one might be about your products. And that could be how they're designed, how they're manufactured, how we make sure they're not toxic and all that kind of stuff. So you can separate those out into death, different about stories and messaging. And then the beautiful thing about that is once you separate that content out, you get to reuse that. And are you use an email today? Are you using Clavio or something like that? Yeah. So in Clavio, your welcome series is a super important series.

If you don't have one already, but I bet you do, but then you take those three about, you know, pages and those are three, you know, emails that go into your clavia welcome series and your welcome series can be, you know, literally actually I just, the podcast episode that went out today, I say your welcome series can be 52 emails long that you send out one a week for a year kind of thing. And the hard part is people don't have enough content for that. So you just wanna keep, you know, telling your message, building your story, having unique content in each email, but you could have a welcome series easily for, for your business today with the content you already have, that's 10 or 20 emails that are going out. You know, you can take all your blog articles, turn them into an email and each also, and just have that welcome series go out for a long period of time, just reinforcing your, your brand and making that human connection. Right. Showing the people, showing the bases, showing the dog, all that good stuff.

Yeah. I think it's an interesting dynamic and I'm sure you see this all the time with startups is you launch with one product, usually one person. I mean, that's me, that's me and my daughter in the photo. Yep. So that's how you launch and then and my daughter's out here building pillows today. So like, and you add more products, you add more to your story, you you know, as you become more complex or sophisticated it's also, how do you continue to be the authentic small startup that we are? I mean, we, I think there's an interesting dynamic intention, you know, I think in social it's way more accepted and expected to be pretty intimate and authentic with are. And that's why we do a lot of stories of us building our product and out doing what we love to do and finding that balance with a website where I think it just tends to ex be expected to be a little bit more professional and more about building confidence in the, in quality of our product.

Like how do you also keep it intimate and yep. Authentic to who we are without being too scrappy. Cuz I mean, we're still a scrappy startup. Like I joke around, like if you went to that chat right now, that would come to me. Right. And we get customers that say, well, how do I know that the mattress is gonna ship today? And it's cuz I'm gonna talk to Elijah, who's gonna ship it. And you're chatting to me and asking me that question and yes, it's gonna ship. I see it. That's where we are as a small business right now. Does that scare people because we're small in that scrappy? Probably not, but that's like the tension that we try and like I think as a startup, you wanna be a grownup and create that confidence. Well how much you communicate that on the website and how, how approachable you are on the website I think is just an interesting and something will continue to test.

Yeah. And there there's no perfect answer there that said you use the word scrappy, which I totally get. You don't wanna be scrappy on the website. You wanna look professional, right. But I heard you equate the word professional and maybe this is just my interpretation of it with not being personal. And that that's the one I'd argue against if that's your daughter and she works at your company, you are now a family owned and run business. And I would double down on people love that. That's the, that's one of the stories, right? You have many stories. One of the stories is, you know, these guys are outdoor fanatics. You know, like you might have other people on your team that you've been camping with or biking with for decades. And now you're in business together. People love those kind of stories. And it's not, like I said, it's not the only story, but the fact that your daughter's an employee, you know, I, I would emphasize that.

Not deemphasize that because now you're even more human and you're more relatable. And when people, you know, are out camping on your mattress, they're not gonna talk about the ISO 9 0 1 approval rating of the mattress. Right. They're gonna talk about this guy, Aaron, who, who invented this thing. And he is up there in Seattle doing all this great outdoor stuff that I see on social. He's even got his family working on the business. Now that's a story they're gonna retell, you know, not so much about the member, even though that's not unimportant. All I'm saying is that's not a story that people retell as well.


So I, I would, you know, I would totally embrace your size, like a lot of, a lot of business. And I was guilty of this before. I I'm a one person Shopify agency, everything that I do, I do myself and my clients. And I used to, you know, consciously or subconsciously, you know, use the word we a lot. And, and I I've learned over time. It's like, no, it's it's, I, I am here. I will do it. It will be done. And I, I now embrace my smallness where I used to try to obviscate my smallness. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> it. I actually think it's a strength to most, most of your customers, especially in your space where, you know, their connection to you personally, being an outdoor person gives you street cred as opposed to you a Proctor and gamble, product scientist or something behind something. Yep.

That was a great point.

So we're, we're running out out of time here pretty quickly. Is there any questions that you have that I, I can, you know, answer for you or try to answer for you?

No, I think great to meet you. Yeah. I appreciate the opportunity to share more about hust and certainly hear your thoughts and feedback. I, again, with my product design, it's all about iterating and learning. And this feels like a very helpful and beneficial, hopefully mutually beneficial opportunity to, to do that. So yeah. Thanks for the opportunity.

Oh, thank you. And like for a store that's been around for two and a half, three years, I am super impressed with how far you guys have learned a ton in a short period of time. You guys, you know, are really well buttoned up. You're doing a great job and I expect you're gonna do even better in the future. You're heading in the right direction. I'm, I'm super impressed by y'all.

Thanks, Scott. Appreciate it.

Thank you. It was great talking to you,

Right. Great. Take care. All right, bye.

JadePuma is a certified Shopify Expert. If you need any help with your Shopify store, we can help.